Archive for February, 2016

Updates on the lifting of the EU sanctions against Iran related to merchant shipping

According to the recent Council Decisions (CFSP) 2015/1863 and 2016/37, along with Council Regulation (EU) 2015/1861, as of January 2016, the following restrictions against Iran, being associated with merchant shipping, have been revoked:

  1. The prohibition to the sale, supply and transfer of items , materials, equipment , goods , technology contained in the Nuclear Suppliers Group and Missile Technology Control Regime or which could contribute to enrichment- related, repossessing or heavy-water related activities or to the development of nuclear weapon delivery systems (Article 1 (1) (a), (b), (d),(e) and Article 2 of Council Decision 2010/413 as amended);
  2. The prohibition to import, purchase or transport of Iranian crude oil, petroleum and petrochemical products and of Iranian natural gas, as well as , the prohibition to provide, directly or indirectly, financing or financial assistance as well as insurance and reinsurance, related to the import, purchase or transport of Iranian crude oil and petroleum products (Articles 3a, 3b and 3c of Council Decision 2010/413 as amended) ;
  3. The prohibition to sale, supply or transfer of key equipment and technology for certain key sectors of the oil and natural gas and the petrochemical industry in Iran or to Iranian or Iranian-owned enterprises engaged in those sectors (Article 4 and 4a of Council Decision 2010/413 as amended);
  4. The prohibition relating to the direct or indirect sale, purchase, transportation or brokering of gold and precious metals, as well as of diamonds (Article 4c of Council Decision 2010/413 as amended);
  5. The prohibition relating to the delivery of newly printed or minted or unissued Iranian denominated banknotes and coinage ( Article 4d of Council Decision 2010/413 as amended);
  6. The prohibition to the sale, supply, or transfer to Iran of graphite and raw or semifinished metals such as aluminium and steel (Article 4e of Council Decision 2010/413 as amended) ;
  7. The prohibition to sale, supply, transfer or export of naval equipment and technology for ship building, maintenance or refit, to Iran or to any Iranian persons engaged in this sector (Article 4g of Council Decision 2010/413 as amended);
  8. The prohibition to sale, supply or transfer to Iran of software for integrating industrial processes ( Article 4i of Council Decision 2010/413 as amended);
  9. The prohibition relating to the construction of new oil tankers for Iran or for Iranian persons or entities (Article 8a of Council Decision 2010/413 as amended);
  10. The prohibition relating to the provision of insurance and re-insurance to the Government of Iran or to entities incorporated in Iran or subject to Iran’s jurisdiction (Article 12 of Council Decision 2010/413 as amended);
  11. The obligation to communicate to the Committee any information available on transfers or activity by vessels owned or operated by the Islamic Republic of Iran Shipping Lines (IRISL) (Article 16 of Council Decision 2010/413 as amended);
  12. The prohibition to provide flagging and classification services, including registration and identification numbers of any kind, to Iranian oil tankers and cargo vessels (Article 18a of Council Decision 2010/413 as amended); and
  13. The prohibition to supply vessels designed for the transport or storage of oil and petrochemical products to Iranian persons, entities or bodies (Article 18b of Council Decision 2010/413 as amended).

For more information please visit: http://eur-lex.europa.eu

 

 

Cyprus the Ideal Place to Live … “The Right Time” to Purchase your home in Cyprus!!!

Cyprus offers a strategic location, favourable tax environment, educated work force, modern banking system and legal infrastructure which make the country the perfect business bridge for the European Union and the Middle East.

In an effort to improve the tax system in Cyprus and make it more attractive to foreign investors, the Government of Cyprus enacted into Law on 16 July 2015 a package of measures that will help the property market to revive and the Cyprus tax system to become more fair, simple and competitive.

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Cyprus Citizenship Continues Successfully – The Urgency to apply with the Current Rules and Get a European Passport in Three Months

The Cyprus Citizenship program is one of the most attractive schemes available to non-European high net worth individuals. Pursuant to the Civil Registry Law 2002 (L. 141(I)/2002 as amended), a non-Cypriot citizen is entitled by exemption to apply for obtainment of Cyprus Citizenship by exception, provided that they fulfil certain criteria. However, according to local authorities, the existing criteria are to be amended and are likely from February 2016 to be removed from the program.

The fast track process (with Citizenship approval within 3 months of application) of obtaining a Cypriot passport provides the investor with visa-free access to more than 160 countries.

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Ship Management Companies under the Cyprus Tonnage Tax System

The growth in the Ship Management revenues to €464 million for the first half of 2015 demonstrates the enduring strength of this sector in Cyprus, corresponding to 5,4% of Cyprus’ GDP, as well as its global competiveness.

The simplicity in the procedures of the Cyprus Ship Registry, the strategic geographic location of the island, in combination with the world-class professional services available, and the Tonnage Tax system applicable, make Cyprus an ideal location for ship management companies.

Under the Tonnage Tax System a ship manager who opts to be taxed under the system and is accepted to be taxed as so, is subject to an annual tax calculated based on the net tonnage of the qualifying vessels managed by the said ship manager. The Cyprus TT system is the only one approved in the EU and is rightly considered the biggest advantage for ship management companies on the island. It is hence not without reason that 20% of the world’s ship management is taking place in Cyprus.  The number of ship management companies registered under the tonnage tax system demonstrates a constant yearly increase, noting 37 ship management companies under the TT system in 2015.

Qualification criteria:

Any Ship manager, who is Cyprus tax resident, who provides crew and/or technical ship management services to a qualifying ship[1] engaged in a qualifying activity[2], may opt to be taxed under the TT system, provided the following criteria are satisfied:

    • Maintenance of a fully fledged office in Cyprus;
    • Employment of a sufficient in number and qualification personnel, at least 51% being EU/ EEA citizens;
    • 2/3 of the management being carried out from EU/EEA territory;
    • Compliance with certain international standards (maritime security, safety, training, certification of seafarers, environmental issues, on-board working conditions, full implementation of the Maritime Labour Convention) etc;
    • At least 60% of the fleet managed, in terms of tonnage, comprising of Community ships (maintaining the said percentage for a period of three years, subject to further exceptions);
    • Tonnage Tax calculation:
    • Once opting to use the TT system, one must stay within the system for a period of ten years; if withdrawing prematurely, then the difference between the amount paid during the period the ship owner was under the TT system and the amount that would have been paid had it been subject to corporation tax during that period, will need to be paid.
UNITS OF NET TONNAGE €TT PER 400 UNITS
0-1.000 36,50
1.001-10.000 31,03
10.001-25.000 20,08
25.001-40.000 12,78
>40.000 7,30

 

Exemption covers:

  • Profits from the provision of crew and/or technical ship management services to any qualifying ship
  • Dividend paid directly or indirectly from the above
  • Interest earned on funds used as working capital or for the payment of expenses arising related to the management of the ships, excluding interest on capital used for investments

 

Christodoulos G. Vassiliades & Co. LLC offers legal and administrative services to ship management companies wishing to bring their business to Cyprus from a – z ; from the searching, finding and setting up of an office, to the finding and hiring of the office personnel, to the application for the TT system; ensuring full compliance with the Cyprus legislation and regulations at all times.

 

[1] Meaning a sea going vessel (including vessels that transport humanitarian aid) has been certified in accordance with international principles and legislation of the flag country and that is registered in the register of a member country of the International Maritime Organization / the International Labour Organization.

[2] for ship managers, means services provided to a ship owner or bareboat charterer on the basis of a written agreement in relation to crew and/or technical management and/or both

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Maria Ch. Kyriacou of Christodoulos G. Vassiliades & Co. LLC contributed to the publication Cartels: Enforcement, Appeals & Damages Actions on Global Legal Insights

Maria Ch. Kyriacou of Christodoulos G. Vassiliades & Co. LLC contributed to the publication Cartels: Enforcement, Appeals & Damages Actions on Global Legal Insights.

The article deals with the following topics:

  1. Overview of the law and enforcement regime relating to cartels
  2. Overview of investigative powers in Cyprus
  3. Overview of cartel enforcement activity during the last 12 months
  4. Key issues in relation to enforcement policy
  5. Key issues in relation to investigation and decision-making procedures
  6. Leniency/amnesty regime
  7. Administrative settlement of cases
  8. Third party complaints
  9. Civil penalties and sanctions
  10. Right of appeal against civil liability and penalties
  11. Criminal sanctions
  12. Cross-border issues
  13. Developments in private enforcement of antitrust laws
  14. Reform proposals

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Christodoulos G. Vassiliades Firm will attend the Posidonia 2016

Christodoulos G. Vassiliades’ representatives will be present at Posidonia 2016 “The International Shipping Exhibition” and will hold a seminar regarding Cyprus Sailing and the Future Solutions for the Shipping Industry on 10th June 2016, in Athens, Greece.

Posidonia 2016, the International Shipping Exhibition, that every two years becomes the venue for serious business at the largest gathering in the shipping calendar, will take place this year on 6th to 10th June, in Greece’s capital.

Posidonia will provide again direct access to Greek shipping and the owners of the largest fleet under the control of any one national group, dominating the newbuilding orderbook and S&P market. The event will involve the holding of exhibitions, conferences and seminars as well as games.

For full details please visit our Events Calendar

If you will be attending the Posidonia 2016 “International Shipping Exhibition” and are interested in meeting us, please contact us by filling in the below Contact Form

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CGV’s members will attend the upcoming 4th Annual Event, Superyachts Opportunities in Malta

Christodoulos G. Vassiliades’s Members will attend the 4th Annual Conference, Opportunities in Superyachts, taking place in Intercontinental Malta Hotel  placed on St. Julians Bay  on 10th March 2016.

The Conference focuses on finance, insurance, tax, corporate ownership, brokerage, chartering, marinas, regulation, safety and security, will once again attract an international audience of yacht brokers, builders, marina operators, lawyers, corporate service providers, registries, tax advisors and accountants, associations, for what has become a global yearly forum.

For full details of the Conference please visit our Events Calendar

If you will be attending the Malta Conference, Opportunities in Superyachts and are interested in meeting us, please contact us by filling in the below Contact Form.

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Christodoulos G. Vassiliades firm will be attending the upcoming CIS Wealth Moscow 2016 Conference

Christodoulos G. Vassiliades Law Firm’s Representatives will be attending the upcoming CIS Wealth Moscow 2016 Conference, taking place on 17th to 18th of February in Russian capital.

Over 400 delegates from more than 30 countries will attend the event. Leading professionals in International Corporate Law, Tax Analysis, private banking and business immigration from Europe, Americas, Middle East and CIS countries will share their view and experience with local businessmen.

CIS Wealth will appeal to qualified senior management, executive decision makers, as well as advisers and consultants from sectors, including, banking, tax consulting and tax planning, corporate services, accounting/audit, immigration & citizenship.

For full details please visit our Events Calendar 

If you wish to meet with us during the Conference or have any questions please feel free to contact us by filling out the below Contact Form.

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Something’s changing with Trademarks: Part 2

In 2014, Ourania Vrondou, Christodoulos G. Vassiliades &Co LLC, discussed the Regulation on the European Trademark Law. Two years later, she’s back to depict updates on the law and what this means for jurisdictions worldwide.

The Article made front page on the Trademark Lawyer Website Follow this link

The Regulation (EU) 2015/2424 on the European Trademark Law (The “Regulation”) and Directive (EU) 2015/2436 on the Directive on the approximation of law of the Member States relating to trademarks (the “Directive”) were published on the 16th of December and will come into force on the 23rd of March 2016.

Although the substance of both texts remains the same, there have been a number of additions worth mentioning.

Regarding the Regulation there has been an introduction of a single-class application system enabling SMEs to enter the European Trademark arena, which up until recently was unapproachable. Further, it is accompanied by financial advantages as well. In addition, it provides for an extension on the absolute grounds of protection, since it has now become clear that geographical indications and designations of original will constitute an obstacle to any trademark application that threatens their status. However, the freedom of expression is safeguarded, since trademark owners will not have the right to restrict the use of their trademark for the purpose of artistic expression so long as it is considered as fair and in accordance with honest practices in industrial and commercial matters.

As far as the Directive is concerned, the text is much the same as the one of the Regulation, though it has a more dynamic impact on the trademark laws of the member states. The Directive, among other things, allows trademark owners to demand that reference to the mark is accompanied with an indication that such mark is protected by trademark registration.

Both the Regulation and the Directive constitute a promising ally to the fight against counterfeits and provide for important safeguards against manipulation of such provisions by trademark owners for the purpose of eliminating competition.

For further analysis, please

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